For the past few months, we have posted expanded explanations of the Greek verb tenses. I am pleased to report that
you can now access this information more easily. Just click"Level 2 - Grammar" on the left-hand tool bar.
This will take you to a series of articles titled "A Closer Look At" the various tenses.
are studying a Greek verb, it's a good idea to "Take a Closer Look" at the grammar!
Just because it's in print, it's not necessarily true! I recently received a newsletter from a well-established
Christian organization containing an article on the commands of Christ. I was startled to find the following statement:
word hospitality in the Greek is philoxenos. Philos means "friend" and xenos means
"to host and entertain."
I have nothing against hospitality. My wife and I were just on
the receiving end of some incredible hospitality from a congregation in Sapporo, Japan. And Scripture clearly teaches
the importance of opening our homes and hearts to "host and entertain" others.
But this article uses poor
Greek to support a valid teaching. Let's check the accuracy, point by point.
A. The Greek word for
the noun hospitality is philoxenia. Philoxenos is the adjective "hospitable." Close,
but not quite precise.
B. Although "friend" is a valid translation of philos, xenos
definitely does not mean "to host or entertain." It is an adjective, not a verb. And here is the Bauer,
Arndt and Gingrich definition for the word:
1. as adjective: strange, foreign -- includes figurative
meanings: strange to someone, unacquainted with, without interest is OR strange in kind, surprising, unheard of, foreign
as substantive: stranger, alien
If you want to explore the etymology of this word, it would be more
accurate to say that philoxenia, the Greek word for hospitality, comes from a pair of words that mean "lover
or friend of strangers."
That's not a bad word picture, is it? A hospitable person throws his life
and his home open to people outside his family circle, people who are outsiders. What a great way to touch the lives
of others with the love of God, who loved us when we were His enemies.